Tuesday, October 17, 2006

100 Players Who Shook The Kop Top 10


Name: Ian Rush

Years at Liverpool: 1980 to 1987 & 1988 to 1996
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 20/10/1961
Birthplace: St Asaph

Signed from: Chester City (May 1980) & Juventus (August 1988)

Games: 660
Goals: 346

First Division Championship (1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86, 1989/90),
European Cup (1984),
FA Cup (1986, 1989, 1992),
League Cup (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995),
Charity Shield (1982, 1986, 1989, 1990),
ScreenSport Super Cup (1986),
PFA Young Player of the Year (1983),
PFA Player of the Year (1984),
Football Writers Player of the Year (1984)

Part One:

Part Two:

Only one word is needed to describe Ian Rush's Liverpool career. Goals. Plenty of them, to be more precise. No player in Anfield history has scored more and his record his one that will take some beating.

Nothing shakes the Kop more than a goal and in two glorious spells with the club he netted so many times he must surely have been guilty of causing some structural damage before the old terrace was finally pulled down in 1994.

A goalscoring legend if there ever was one, it's hard to imagine that his glittering career with the Reds had such an inauspicious beginning. Signed from Chester City towards the end of the 1979/80 season for a then British record fee for a teenager - £300,000 – Rush felt he wasn't being given a fair crack of the whip by then boss Bob Paisley and asked for a transfer after making just a handful of appearances.

Tall, thin and ungainly, the young striker looked anything but a future striking hero when he broke into the team but how looks can be deceptive. It actually took him nine games before registering his first goal for the senior side but once that hit the back of the net there was no stopping him.

Electric pace and eagle-eyed anticipation meant he was also a nightmare to mark and his attacking partnership with Kenny Dalglish is genuinely regarded as one of the finest there has ever been.

A remarkable 47-goal haul – 48 if you count his spot kick conversion in Rome – was enough to see him become the first British player to win Europe's Golden Boot, a perfect accompaniment to an unprecedented treble of League title, European Cup and Milk Cup, not to mention double player of the year recognition.

After just one season in Italy though, he was to make a sensational return amid a blaze of publicity. Having been made aware that their former star had failed to fully settle in Turin, Liverpool jumped at the chance to bring him home and Rushie responded by picking up where he left off, scoring goals for fun and proceeding to smash what goalscoring records he hadn't already.

In October 1992 he found the back of the net for a 287th time in a Liverpool shirt and in doing so surpassed Roger Hunt as the most prolific striker in Anfield history. The same year, Rushie's status as one of the club's elder statesman saw him handed the captaincy by manager Graeme Souness and in 1995 he fulfilled a personal dream by lifting the Coca Cola Cup as Reds skipper.

While records are there to be broken it's not inconceivable to suggest Rushie's phenomenal tally of goals in a Liverpool shirt is likely to stand the test of time.

But even if he is, somehow, one day, displaced from his position at the summit of the clubs all-time leading goalscorers, the fact he shook the Kop a record 346 times means he'll forever be renowned as one of the all-time Anfield greats.

Sold to: Juventus (July 1987) & Leeds (May 1996)

Claim to fame: Scoring more goals for Liverpool than any other player

Did you know? Liverpool didn’t lose a match in which Rush scored until the 1987 Littlewoods Cup Final against Arsenal

Where is he now? Looking to get back into football after recently completing his UEFA coaching badges

Nicky Allt on Ian Rush: "Ian Rush is maybe your all-round complete centre forward because the man could run, defend, was pacy, athletic and he could put the ball in the net. But more than anything his work ethic for the team is something you don't really find in a striker today. Your modern goalscorer thinks he hasn't got to run back and work but Rushie was always our first line of defence and a lot of people forget that."

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